BY ALAN TEMPLE – @CCP_Sport
OFIR MARCIANO could make his long-awaited Hibernian debut against Morton after the towering goalkeeper was finally granted a work permit.
The 26-year-old agreed a one-year loan deal from FC Ashdod 21 days ago but has been frustrated by red tape, with youngster Ross Laidlaw deputising for the Israel internationalist.
However, Marciano travelled to Brussels last week alongside Hibs’ head of football operations George Craig to complete the final formalities of the immigration process.
The player’s agent Dudu Dahan, who was also responsible for brokering moves to Scotland for Beram Kayal, Efe Ambrose, Nir Bitton, has confirmed that his latest export is now available for the Hibees.
Dahan tweeted: “Finally, Ofir Marciano received a Work Permit #nowhecanplay”.
And the capital club wasted no time in pitching the keeper into action, with Marciano making his first appearance in Hibs colours during yesterday’s under-20s clash against their Hearts counter-parts.
Marciano boasts 10 caps for his country and spent last term on loan at Belgian outfit Mouscron-Péruwelz after falling out of favour at Ashdod.
Hibs boss Neil Lennon has already made it clear that he sees Marciano as his new number one following the summer departures of Conrad Logan and Mark Oxley, despite some fine displays by Laidlaw.
Depending on his fitness, Marciano could be handed his first senior outing for his new club when the Ton visit Easter Road on Saturday aiming to end the Hibees’ 100 per cent start to the Championship campaign.
And Lennon has warned that his side are primed to hammer an opponent if they continue to rack up the amount of clear cut chances which characterised their 2-0 win over St Mirren last weekend.
He added: “I thought we handled the game very well. We showed good control and application, the concentration was good and we created a lot of chances again.
“I keep saying, one of these days we are going to give someone a very heavy beating if we play like that.”